IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONNECT AND CREATE, I’LL BE TALKING TO WOMXN ALL OVER THE WORLD ABOUT HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE CHANGED DURING QUARANTINE…
Many industries have been hit by the pandemic, but one that’s close to home; a close second to mine, is the nightlife and entertainment industry. I’m talking DJs in particular. With the world of fashion, it comes down to adaptation and a dip or shift in sales. However, the uncertainty surrounding whether clubs or events will take place again this year is a source of anxiety for these musically inclined creatives.
DJ Patchoulee Chaggar has been in Dubai for years, although originally a UK native, and is self-isolating in her apartment. She would have been alone, except her niece who was visiting from China got stuck here due to grounded flights: “the poor girl hasn’t been back home for over 14 weeks. Lucky me, it is awesome to have her company … a.k.a terrorise her.” On a surface level, being a self-employed freelance DJ means that the global crisis has been financially crushing for Patchoulee. “Obviously, I can’t go to work,” she states, “so therefore I can’t make any money and realistically won’t until after Ramadan. So, it’s time to seriously budget, and pull tight on the purse strings.”
To stay inspired during these unprecedented times, the first thing Patchoulee does in the morning is watch the Instagram Live steams of heavyweight DJs in America: “it’s incredible, I love nerding out to [them]. It fuels my soul.” To ensure she stays centred, she has another #QUARANTINELIFE ritual, where every morning she meditates, lights a candle, and makes herself a green smoothie before starting with “the motherly errands to look after my niece – who is 23 by the way.” She’ll then tackle her to-do list. Productive and positive indeed.
When I ask about social media, and if it’s helped her stay connected, Patchoulee says, “if I’m honest, Instagram has been a life-line for me. Checking out the DJs I respect fuels my creativity and keeps me connected to how powerful music is on a global level. I’ve bounced around on live feeds from incredible DJs with friends in different countries and we’ve shared that musical experience together – it’s an insane and wonderful thing.” Patchoulee herself has also taken to social in a unique and seriously creative fashion: she’s been sharing videos on Instagram where she takes requests and plays Hip Hop classics on the recorder. Doing her bit to prove yet again that music is such a formidable force: it brings people together and spreads good vibes and positivity.
Patchouolee is missing hugs from the people she loves and walking barefoot in nature, but as the restrictions ease off slowly here in Dubai, I’m sure she’ll be able to connect with the earth soon. Before that happens however, she’s passing the time by organising her extensive vinyl collection. So, of course when I ask her what three things are keeping her sane right now, she replies; “music, laughter, and more music,” naturally. Describing her current mental state, she says, “You Are The Universe by The Brand New Heavies.”
Follow Patchoulee on INSTAGRAM.